Court rejects petition for injunction against 3G license auction


BANGKOK, Oct 15 – Thailand’s Administrative Court on Monday rejected a petition by telecoms academic Anuparp Tiralarp seeking an injunction to suspend tomorrow’s auction of third-generation (3G) 2.1 gigahertz wireless licenses by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Mr Anuparp, an independent academic and former Thailand Telecommunication Management Academy president, told reporters that the Court rejected his petition saying the damage was so far only speculation, that any damage has yet to happen. Therefore the complainant’s rights are not considered infringed.

He earlier said the auction should be suspended until NBTC amends some regulations and pre-auction conditions for the people’s maximum benefit.

However, the Court advised that the petition could be re-submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman when the auction is over as the agency has responsibility to directly protect the benefits of the public.

Mr Anuparp said that he accepted the court’s decision and asserted that he did his best to protect the well-being of the people.

In a related development, the Administrative Court refused to grant an emergency hearing as requested by the Green Politics group on the 3G auction. The Court is still considering the Green Politics petition for an injunction to suspend 3G auction process.

Green Politics coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said consultants from Chulalongkorn University recommended a reserve price of Bt6.44 billion per slot but that the NBTC set the reserve price at 2.1-gigahertz spectrum at Bt4.5 billion which he said was too low and would cost the public more than Bt18 billion.

Meanwhile, Narapol Plainate, former labour union leader of the TOT Plc, a state-owned Thai telecommunications company, petitioned the Administrative Court, seeking an injunction against the 3G license bidding.

He said the NBTC has not yet examined the assets of all 2G concessionaires before the 3G auction to prevent any unlawful transfer of assets including hardware and telephone numbers from 2G to 3G.